Winner of the Outstanding Cancer Clinical Trials Unit

Join us in celebrating the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), the winner of the 2021 NSW Premier’s Award for Outstanding Clinical Trials Unit.

Winner of the Outstanding Cancer Clinical Trials Unit

The Cancer Institute NSW Clinical Trials Program supports investment in infrastructure, systems and strategic initiatives to drive the efficient and effective conduct of clinical trials. This includes increasing the accrual of patients and accessibility to a portfolio of high-quality, public interest cancer clinical trials in NSW.

The 2021 NSW Premier’s Award for Outstanding Cancer Clinical Trials Unit has been awarded to Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).

WSLHD is responsible for providing health care for a diverse population in the Auburn, Blacktown, The Hills Shire, Holroyd and Parramatta Local Government Areas (LGAs) and tertiary care to residents of the Greater Western Region.

WSLHD is one of the state’s fastest growing areas, with more than 1.4 million residents estimated by 2031. About half of the residents in the district speak a language other than English at home.

Finding breast cancer early means people have better treatment options and can return to their normal lives more quickly.  "This award will help raise the awareness of cancer research in both cancer sufferers and general public," says Associate Professor Mark Wong, Deputy Chair, Clinical Cancer Trial Network.

"This is particularly important in our district with residents coming from such diverse cultural backgrounds"

In 2020-2021 WSLHD doubled recruitment to investigator-initiated trials and increased recruitment to commercially sponsored trials, despite the challenges of conducting clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Associate Professor Wong says the team is leading exciting developments in key areas for the region.

“Incidence of lung cancers in our district is amongst the highest in Australia, and there are over 20 lung cancer trials currently open to explore new therapies for lung cancer sufferers,” he says.

“Our haematology trial team is also spearheading the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) research in Australia.

"This is an exciting form of immunotherapy treatment – not only being useful to manage various haematological malignancies, but with great potential in treating other cancers such as stomach cancers.”

Eight WSLHD clinical trial units conduct commercial and investigator-initiated treatment trials of radiation oncology, surgery and novel drugs in medical oncology and haematology. There are also trials on supportive care and cancer screening.

WSLHD is also commended for dedication and engagement with the key initiatives, such as data reporting and process improvement.